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Carol J. Adams

Carol J. Adamstext taken from

I`m the author of The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory. It`s been called "ground-breaking" and "pioneering" (interesting how our description of books draws from our invasive relationship to the land). Many say it is an underground classic, which I guess means that lots of people know and love it, but it goes unnoticed by the dominant media. Of course, when it first came out, that was slightly different. Then, right-wing reviewers held it up as the latest example of academic excess and political correctness, which was funny to me, because I am not an academic. I used to teach a course I developed at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University on "Sexual and Domestic Violence: Theological and Pastoral Issues" -- but very infrequently. Basically, for as long as I have been an adult, I have been an advocate, an activist, someone trying to figure out how do we transform this d*#! world that is built on inequality.

As an undergraduate, I worked to bring women`s studies courses to the University of Rochester. This was in the early 1970s, and I struggled to find a way to express feminist ideas in my papers for college. I was also involved in protesting the Vietnam War. I went from college to Yale Divinity School, where my field work was at the New Haven Women`s Liberation Center and in an abortion clinic at Yale Medical School. That is where I was the day Roe v. Wade was announced by the Supreme Court. I spent a year at University of Pennsylvania, as an intern for women`s issues at the Christian Association. We created a Susan B. Anthony birthday celebration in 1974. I had the opportunity to dress up as Susan B. and read the speech she gave at the Liberty Bell in 1876. For a moment, I stood alone next to the Liberty Bell, before stepping out to enact my part. I was moved by the sense of historical connection to feminist activists from the past, like Anthony and Stanton, and how we were still working to liberate women from inequality.

During the late 70s and through most of the 80s, I was the Executive Director of the Chautauqua County Rural Ministry, Inc., in Dunkirk, New York, an advocacy and service not-for-profit agency addressing issues of poverty, racism, and sexism. With my partner, we started a Hotline for Battered Women. I also served as Chairperson of the Housing Committee of the New York Governor`s Commission on Domestic Violence (1984-87); coordinated a challenge to a local radio station license because of its racism, misrepresentation, and disregard of FCC rules (this resulted in the first revocation of a radio station license brought about by a community group during the Reagan years), co-ordinated a suit against a city for racism in its housing practices, and began writing what became The Sexual Politics of Meat.

In 1987, we moved to the Dallas area so my partner could work with a day shelter for the homeless and with at-risk children and youth, and finally I started to finish The Sexual Politics of Meat. I completed it in 1989 and it was published that December.

We live with our dog Holly, a rescued dog just outside of Dallas. I`m thrilled that the Fort Worth vegan restaurant, Spiral Diner, has come to Dallas. Besides continuing my feminist-vegan writing, I`m working on a book on Jane Austen (it will be different from the other 500 now out there), and a true crime story about some murders in Chautauqua County.


The sexual politics of meat







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